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A non-profit publication of the Office of the University Relations of Virginia Tech,
including The Conductor, a special section of the Spectrum printed 4 times a year

Tech set to host international instructional-technology conference

By Catherine Doss

Spectrum Volume 20 Issue 32 - June 4, 1998

Virginia Tech, along with its College of Arts and Sciences and Center for Organizational and Technological Advancement (COTA), will host an international conference on the use of technology in instruction June 18-21 at the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center.
The conference, titled "Learning On Line '98," is being organized by the Virginia Tech cyberschool's two faculty coordinators, Len Hatfield, associate professor of English and Timothy W. Luke, professor of political science, who are COTA fellows in the College of Arts and Sciences. The conference will bring together scholars and educators from around the world to launch a sustained debate about the advantages and disadvantages of digital discourse, learning on line, and the virtual university.
"While others have been talking about building a virtual university someday in the near future, Virginia Tech has been laying the foundations for one since 1993," Hatfield said. He cited the university's pioneering efforts in developing the Cyberschool, Math Emporium, and Faculty Development Initiative, as well as its role as the visionary leader in development of the state-wide, broadband-asynchronous-transfer-mode network, Net.Work.Virginia.
"This will be strong conference in both the practice and scholarship of instructional technology," Luke said.
The conference will feature a host of acclaimed experts in uses and assessment of instructional technology. Keynote speakers for the event include Mark Poster, Burks Oakley, Michael Joyce, Howard Strauss, N. Katherine Hayles, and Steven Gilbert. Poster is a professor history at the University of California, Irvine and has published research on the social and cultural theory of electronically mediated information. He will speak on "Digital and Analog Authors: What's the Matter with the Internet?"
Oakley is associate vice president for academic affairs at the University of Illinois and oversees distance education, outreach, and instructional technologies on all three of the university's campuses. He has major responsibilities for the UI-OnLine initiative and is associate director of the Sloan Center for Asynchronous Learning Environments. Oakley's presentation will be on "The Internet and Higher Education: Silicon and Fiber Replacing Bricks and Mortar."
Joyce is visiting associate professor of English and director of the Center for Electronic Learning and Teaching at Vassar College. Joyce has published widely on hypertext theory and pedagogy and will speak on "Othermindedness: Networked Learning and Post-Hypertextuality."
Strauss is manager of advanced applications at Princeton University-a group charged with turning the latest information technology into practical applications. Strauss serves as an information-technology consultant for many companies and universities. He has published dozens of articles and is a regular contributing author to several computer journals. Strauss will speak on "The Future of the Web, Intelligent Devices, and Education."
Hayles is a professor of English at UCLA. Her publications include a study on the impact of information technologies on contemporary literature and literary theory and a study of the interplay between narrative and mathematics. She will speak on "Text and Image: Crossing the Print/Screen Divide."
Gilbert is president of the Teaching, Learning, and Technology Group for the American Association for Higher Education (AAHE). In this role, he encourages the integration of information technology in all activities and develops programs to build bridges between academic leaders and vendors with expertise in information technology and information resources. Gilbert is a frequent guest speaker and author on information technology as it relates to education. He will speak on "If It Takes 30 or 40 Years, Is It a Revolution?"
The conference also features more than 70 papers and presentations by scholars from the USA, Australia, New Zealand, and several European countries.
For more information or to register on line, visit the conference web site at www.conted.vt.edu/Learning/Online.htm or contact Jane Todd at 1-2014 (janetodd@vt.edu) or Mark Schaefermeyer at 1-3259 (eagle@vt.edu).